Peter Bjorn and John
Anyone familiar with Peter Bjorn and John solely through their breezy, whistling ‘07 pop hit “Young Folks” (subsequently sampled and covered by Kanye West, among others) will be surprised after hearing eclectic sixth album Gimme Some.
On 2009’s uneven Living Thing, the Stockholm natives delved into experimental electronic sounds. This time around, band members used an outside producer for the first time - Per Sunding, known for his Cardigans work - and intended to make a punk album.
The first two tracks are prime examples. Both feature ramshackle guitar and drums, breathless vocals, wry wordplay (about threatening broken arms and noses to avoid heartbreak; chastising lackluster musicianship) and race by in 1 ½ minutes. Nothing else sounds like the Buzzcocks, but some tracks do have a loose party vibe. The childlike refrain in “Tomorrow Has to Wait” revolves around getting drunk. A sinister sounding “Don’t Let Them Cool Off” concerns the Swedish monarchy and wouldn’t sound out of place on a Raveonettes release.
More reverb-heavy sound is found in the somber, Jesus and Mary Chain-styled “Down Like Me.” Other standouts include the insanely catchy, danceable “Dig a Little Deeper,” replete with bongos and chants, plus the smile-inducing couplet, “if you think your brain is hollow/you just have to scream.” A slinky “Second Chance” boasts spazzy electric guitar and ample cowbell. The eerie, new wave-ish drum machine-driven “I Know You Don’t Love Me” and polyrhythmic “May Seem Macabre” are also highly memorable. Definitely solid from start to finish.